Friday, October 21, 2011


by Anita Lanning

Central Oregon Writers Guild’s 2011 Annual Literary Harvest took place Friday October 14 at the Comfort Suites Inn in Redmond. Winners of the writing contest read their stories to an enthusiastic and appreciative audience. Cindy Murphy of Terrebonne won First Place with her moving story, “The Last Storm”. Second Place winner was Ava Wilson of Terrebonne for her entertaining essay, “The One-Eyed Goose”; and Third Place winner was David Burns of Bend for his memoir, “Going to St. John’s”. 

Other winners were: Jackie Aaro of Bend for her humorous piece, “Corner of Wall & Ivy”; Elizabeth Stephenson of Bend for her memoir “Two Hours to Heaven”; Alex Weiss of Sisters for his poetry; Dixie Brown of Redmond for her memoir “The Call”; Verna Clay of Bend for her essay, “Prison”; JT Gregory of Bend for his memoir, “Taking Sides”; and Sue Nell Phillips of Bend for her nonfiction story, “The Talk.” Their stories will be published in the 2011 Literary Harvest Chapbook, edited and produced by Cameron Prow. It will be available for sale at the November 17 meeting, after which it will be sold at several local bookstores and can be ordered from Lindy Jacobs. The cost is $10 each.

President Elsie Rochna welcomed everyone to the evening’s event, the Seventh Annual Literary Harvest. She said this also marks the fourth year of the writing contest, which is now open to Guild members and Central Oregon residents. We received almost 30 entries this year, with the top ten winners chosen by our panel of judges: Award-winning author Paty Jager of Redmond, writer and editor Jami Carpenter of Bend and Tina Davis of Bend, owner of Camalli Books. Elsie thanked each of the judges for serving as judges and commended them for their time and effort as they selected the winners.

Guild Events Director Lindy Jacobs did an excellent job in her role as Harvest emcee. Her readers’ introductions included a brief biography and their stories’ genre. During the intermission, everyone enjoyed the delicious cake commemorating the occasion, provided by member Trish Bradbury. After the readings, Lindy introduced and thanked the Literary Harvest Committee for their hard work that resulted in such a successful event: Jo Ann Senior, Elsie Rochna, Cindy Murphy and Anita Lanning. Thanks go also to Donis Leach and Peter Vergari, who assisted Cindy with the lovely room decorations. We were also privileged to have four of our authors display their books: Paty Jager, Verna Clay, Ava Wilson and Kai Strand.

Elsie then presented certificates to each of the winners, along with the cash prizes won by Cindy, Ava and David. She congratulated the authors for their winning entries, and for helping make the Harvest such a resounding success. She also thanked all those in attendance for their support of Central Oregon writers, and gave special kudos to those who entered the contest. As she said, you are all winners in our book! She expressed appreciation to the “behind the scenes” folks, both Guild members and committee members’ significant others whose support and patience help make it all happen. (Neville, David, Mark and George, to name a few--hats off to you!). Elsie ended the evening with her standard caveat: Go forth and write!

REMINDER: The 2012 Literary Harvest Writing Contest begins next June. Details including rules and guidelines will be published on our blog. The Harvest takes place in mid-October. We encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity for Central Oregon writers to submit their stories. You too could be in the 2012 Winners Circle!

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